OSCODA – The 24th annual Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) will take place Feb. 12-15.  

Residents of Iosco and Alcona counties will have an opportunity to submit valuable data to researchers about the numbers and various species of birds located in this region prior to the  spring migrations.

Sponsored by Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Audubon, and Birds Canada, this count is open to anyone. Observers may count on one or all four days for at least 15 minutes each day. Participants can tally those birds visiting their feeders, in their neighborhoods, woodland areas, or along river corridors. 

New counts are requested for each new day. Results are submitted online to www.birdcount.org.  Easy to follow instructions guide the observer through the submission process. Help with identifying unknown species is also available. 

“With the aid  of modern technology and an increasing numbers of professional and amateur reporting online, scientists are now able to get a quick snapshot  of where the various species are located, plus insight to the population statues of each prior to the massive movements to breeding grounds,” said Peggy Ridgway, local ambassador for the event. 

Ridgway said many birds travel thousands of miles to reach breeding grounds and that may take two to three months. It’s not uncommon for some to begin the journey at the end of February, so that’s why the timing of the  GBBC is critical. 

Hundreds will travel in the calm of night when air currents are steadier, temperatures cooler, and predators less prevalent.

“During the past several years, participation by our local residents has been great.  I trust this will repeat itself for the 2021 count,” she said.

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